Why Do Cats Rub Against You – Cat Behavior Explained

Bengali cat rubbing against legs

Cats are trendy for their weird acts, behavior, and tendencies. Why do cats rub against you is yet another pet fact and behavior. If a cat rubs against you or bumps her head with home furniture, wall, or other animals, that is called bunting. Cat bunting is a popular vet term and very common. There is nothing to worry about.

Emily Swiniarski DVM, SMO at Paws Chicago, says that “Cats like to greet humans and other animals with their head and face.” There are several reasons and facts behind cat bunting.

Cat Wants to Communicate

What if cats talk like humans! Blah blah. Butting heads or bunting can be assumed as a cat’s language. They want to communicate and share their moments with their family and kin. Cats have a sympathetic olfactory sense.

Sometimes they want to tell their parents about their current mood. If the rub of your feline partner is harsh, then it may be an exhibition of anger, sadness, or other discomforts.

Cats use other tactical ways to communicate like a bite, scratching, knead, cuddle and headbutt.

Cat Rub May Be Symbol Of Greeting

Bunting or cat rub is also a symbol of greeting. When they wish to interact and greet humans and other animals, they rub their head or mouth against the legs, hands, or sometimes mouth.

Cats welcome new family members, humans, or other animals with this trademark greeting. Something like

Hey, welcome to this family. I am your friend Lily. Nice to meet you.

They can not speak, but they do with their body language and such acts.

Cat Rub Can Be An Indication of Territorial Claim

Despite greeting, it may be a signal of a territorial claim for other animals or intruders. Cats spray or secrete a pheromone through the Scent Glands in their head and face. Other animals can easily detect this pheromone, which can reveal or message them to stay away from this area.

Hi, lazy dog, stay away from my kids, or I am going to punch your head. 

On the other side, they mark their family members and objects with their scent. They use it for the differentiation of friend and foe.

A Way To Draw Attention

Most people believe in the myth that cats are anti-social and uncaring. Bunting is the negation of such beliefs.

She might be looking to tell you,

Hi, Joe, don’t you see I am pregnant. I need some special treats and cookies.

To Show Affection and Admiration

Cats might show their admiration and affection by rubbing against you. If you are back home after a long time and a cat is associated with you. Such specialties are similar to humans. They want to show their affection to their daddy or mommy in their fashion.

Most animals, including dogs and cats, do this to show their love and attachment with puppies and kittens. A cat does bunting only with the person, which gives her a family feeling.

Your Kitty Wants To Relax

Cats spread their scent by bunting and head butting against you. When they smell it later, it gives them relief and personal comfort.

It makes them feel better to greet, interact and exchange love with their feline or other family members.

Why Do Cats Rub Against You? What To Do In Response?

When a cat spreads her scent to you, it might relish your pat back. Just show that you love her with the same feelings and passion.

They love the warm response that you are part of their family, and you acknowledge this.

Final Words On Why Do Cats Rub Against You

Cat behaviors nourish with time. Sometimes they mark scratches on the furniture, walls, and other home items. If it happens multiple times, you must consider spaying or neutering the cat.

Somehow bunting is not something to worry about. This tendency varies in home cats, stray cats, and wild cats. If your home cat doesn’t do this, it may be due to her shy nature, which is normal.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why do cats rub against your legs?

Cats rub against the legs of humans to secrete their scent, which is an indication of territorial claim, greetings, affection, and communication. According to the research by VET experts, it is a normal thing.

Why does my cat rub her head against me?

Cats release pheromones through their scent glands based on their chin and face. Cats use this scent to mark the things that belong to them. This may be humans, physical objects, feline family members, or other animals.

Why do cats rub against strangers?

Cats greet strangers with their scent, secreted from their chin, head, and rest of the body. They only do it if they like them and want to be their friends.
It is not an indication to be kept as a pet. They want to increase their loving family, so they do so by spreading their scent.

Why do cats rub against you then bite?

Cats want to show their liking and association with their family members. It can be other feline friends or humans. They first rub against you to transfer their scent. Later they bite with the same intention. Most cat partners do with each other; it may be a way to express that I am ready for pregnancy.
They also do this with any other pets in the house, including dogs, owls, or rabbits. You must make sure that they are vaccinated.

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